Croatia 11th in Europe in Using Funds from the Juncker Plan

Total Croatia News

The plan’s goal is to increase investments and speed up development in the European Union.

The total funding under the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) in Croatia amounts to 186 million euros and could lead to additional investments in the amount of 741 million euros. When this amount is viewed as a share of the country’s GDP, Croatia is at the 11th position in Europe with regards to using of funds from the so-called Juncker plan, reports Jutarnji List on October 20, 2017.

The major winners of this ambitious European project are Estonia, Portugal, Greece, Spain and Latvia, the less developed countries of Europe where investments are particularly needed. In order to make better use of the available resources, said Jyrki Katainen, Vice-President of the European Commission, at a conference in Brussels dedicated to the European Fund for Strategic Investments, it is crucial to better inform the private sector, for example by organizing meetings with the business community, in order to encourage them to participate in projects which can be part of the plan.

Croatia currently has five projects in the area of ​​infrastructure funded by the European Investment Bank with the EFSU support, while four projects have been approved to small and medium-sized enterprises. One of the projects is a loan to the Croatian Electric Power Company (HEP) in the amount of 150 million euros for the construction of a new cogeneration power plant on natural gas for heat and electricity production, which will replace environmentally less-acceptable plants currently operating in Zagreb. “This financing will improve the security of electricity supply in Croatia and reduce the level of pollution,” claims the project.

So far, about three-thirds of the Juncker investment plan has been realised. The program totals 315 billion euros and should be fully implemented by mid-2018. Operations approved by the EFSU total 47.7 billion euros and are located in all EU member states.

It is estimated that the plan has supported 300,000 jobs so far, and by 2020 it is expected to provide 700,000 jobs in Europe. The unique characteristics of the plan are that it is very flexible, engages with the private sector and promotes new industries, such as green infrastructure and social infrastructure, and it also encourages the development of new funding instruments. For example, Finland has presented a project to integrate immigrants through training and employment funded through the first-ever social impact bond scheme. When approving the individual project, the EU does not take into account just profitability and risk, but also its possible impact.

Translated from Jutarnji List.


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